Alas, Germany dashed his dream by bowing out of the tournament after a shock defeat at the hands of South Korea in their next match.
Moscow: Sylvia Fahrenkrog sprang a surprise on her football-crazy son, Philipp, by buying him a World Cup ticket for Germany’s round of 16 match in Russia. After watching his compatriot Toni Kroos score one of the goals of the tournament in a 2-1 win over Sweden at a public screening in Cologne, Germany, Philipp couldn’t wait to board a flight to Moscow.
Alas, Germany dashed his dream by bowing out of the tournament after a shock defeat at the hands of South Korea in their next match. It was the first time the Germans had failed to survive the opening round since 1938. Philipp, 18, was inconsolable.
Sylvia and her son did board a flight for their maiden visit to Russia, as their travel operator in Germany told them that last-minute cancellation would force them to forfeit 95% of the air travel and hotel charges. “We would have extended our stay in Russia had Germany not crashed out of the tournament. Watching a final involving Germany was our dream,” she said.
Philipp is yet to come to terms with Germany’s loss. “I couldn’t fathom how we could lose to South Korea. Germany coach Joachim Low’s misplaced faith in Mesut Ozil cost us dearly. We paid for his mistake. After our thrilling win over Sweden, I thought we would retain the trophy. I’m still depressed,” he said.
There was no end to his agony when he reached Moscow. “It appeared as if the South Korea match was being screened non-stop everywhere. I got over the pain after visiting some interesting places in Russia especially St. Petersburg,” Philipp said.
After a period of mourning, the typical German swagger is back. “Mark my word. We would win Euro 2020. We are Germany. We would come back,” he added.
Sylvia seconded her son. “Germany can rebuild because they have the money,” she said. “But I will not buy him tickets for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. I don’t know how Fifa awarded the event to a country that has no history in football. Fans travel to the World Cup to know the host nation’s culture. What is there to see in Qatar apart from malls and deserts?”
Philipp is now backing England, an old enemy of Germany, for the title. “I don’t like France, although they have a nice team. I would be happy if the trophy comes home, which is England. I’m not upset at what happened in the 1966 final,” he said.